The Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project is currently organized as a public-private partnership under the leadership of the Ventura County Public Works Agency – Watershed Protection in accordance with the following Organizational Chart and the descriptions set forth below.
The Project Management Committee (PMC) is a group of Project proponents that serves in an advisory capacity to Watershed Protection, assisting with Project oversight, connections to key external actors, and review of schedules, scopes, and budgets to help keep the Project on track.
The PMC meets once every three months, generally in January, April, July and October. PMC members include representatives from Watershed Protection, the County’s Executive Office, state funders, private funders, local stakeholders and other Project proponents.
Stakeholders who may not be Project proponents are invited to PMC meetings when appropriate, however their primary involvement with the Project will generally be through the relevant Technical workgroups. Expert advisors or technical consultants may also be engaged by the PMC from time to time to bring relevant outside perspectives to the overall effort on a paid or pro-bono basis.
An assigned Project Coordinator works with Watershed Protection to develop both PMC and Funding and Outreach Subcommittee agendas and meeting schedules; to host and manage meetings; to ensure follow-through on key decisions; and to make sure that information flows up and down between all groups in a timely manner.
The PMC’s Political Engagement subcommittee focuses on engagement with local, state and federal agency leads, decision makers and elected representatives. It also coordinates with environmental and other NGO’s and consultants active in or influential with proposed legislative and related authorizing and funding initiatives, including state bond measures, federal appropriations and other special initiatives.
The Funding and Outreach Subcommittee (FOS) is the group most directly comparable to the Funding Committee as it functioned from 2017-2019. With overall Project Management now covered by the PMC, the FOS focuses more on the progress of designated workgroups – Grants and Proposals, Communications, Stakeholder Engagement and Risk Assessment – along with Ad Hoc workgroups on specific topics. The FOS serves as an overall coordinating body, with more detailed reports flowing up from each individual workgroup.
The FOS holds regular monthly meetings except in April and October. FOS members include all individual workgroup members, plus others who may not have time for regular workgroup engagement. Workgroups meet on an as-needed basis between FOS meetings.
This workgroup focuses on the development of priority grant applications in response to public proposal solicitation notices, requests for proposals, and/or other promising funding opportunities (both invited and competitive). The workgroup also serves as the primary group for initial discussion of other potential funding opportunities, including state and federal grant programs, philanthropic foundations, local businesses, corporate partners, and potential new funding sources.
The PMC’s Communications subcommittee focuses on developing, refining and updating Project communications assets. Current priorities include ongoing updates to the MatilijaDam.org website; development of briefing and educational materials suitable for use with Project outreach efforts; and conceptual development of proposed animation assets to help inspire public support for dam removal and related efforts.
This workgroup organizes and develops semi-annual (spring and fall) Matilija Project Community and Technical Updates to keep the public and stakeholders informed about progress towards dam removal and other aspects of the Project. The Community updates are hosted by the Ventura River Watershed Council (VRWC) as part of their April and October plenary agendas, or as special evening events. More in-depth Technical Updates are hosted by Watershed Protection on the same afternoons as the morning or evening Community Updates. Agendas and presentations from the February (not April) and October 2020 updates are available at VRWC’s Past Meetings archive.
The Liability and Risk Assessment workgroup is currently focused on two inter-related tasks: (1) an analysis of potential “green” or “green/grey” alternatives for enhanced flood protection during and after dam removal; and (2) assessment of alternative strategies for mitigating residual risks, such as liability insurance as a means to buttress proposed structural improvements to address uncertainties associated with future hydrology and sediment deposition. The results of these assessments will be shared with the County of Ventura’s Risk Management Committee for consideration as part of a future adaptive management strategy for the Project and/or for further development if warranted.
Established early in 2022, the FOS’ Recreation Planning workgroup is developing a proposed project to engage local residents and stakeholders in establishing a community-based vision and initial conceptual plan for public recreation and equitable access following Matilija Dam removal.